Overview

Hikers and mountain bikers are sure to enjoy this scenic desert trail located in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. The route begins at the White Reef Trailhead near Quail Creek and traverses the area between Red Cliffs and I-15 for approximately 6.0 miles before ending at the Church Rocks Trail. Hikers will enjoy the sweeping views and easy walking while mountain bikers will enjoy the rolling hills, smooth singletrack, and occasional moderate technical challenges. This trail is suitable for hikers of all skill and fitness levels and mountain bikers comfortable with intermediate technical difficulties.

Directions from St. George

  1. Take Exit 22 off of I-15.
  2. Turn south onto Old Highway 91 and continue south for about 2 miles.
  3. Turn right at the signed junction for Red Cliffs Recreation Area and continue under the freeway to the ‘T’ in the road.
  4. Turn right at the ‘T’ and continue 0.1 miles to the White Reef Trailhead

Directions from the North

The Prospector Trail is accessed from the White Reef Trailhead in the Red Cliffs Recreation Area. Red Cliffs is located about 15 miles northeast of St. George.

  1. Take Exit 23 from I-15.
  2. Turn left off the exit, then right onto Main Street/Old Highway 91.
  3. Continue south for 3.5 miles to the signed junction on the right.
  4. Turn right at the signed junction for Red Cliffs Recreation Area and continue under the freeway to the ‘T’ in the road.
  5. Turn right at the ‘T’ and continue 0.1 miles to the White Reef Trailhead

Parking at the trailhead requires a $5 day use fee per vehicle. The fee can be paid at self-serve kiosks by filling out an envelope and enclosing the fee. Be sure to detach and place the stub on your vehicle dashboard before starting starting down the trail. You may also use Federal Interagency Annual, Access, and Senior Passes for day use fees.

NOTE: The freeway underpass used to access the trailhead will not accommodate vehicles taller than 11’9”. Use caution if you have bikes mounted to the top of your vehicle.

The Route

Accessing the Prospector Trail from the White Reef Trailhead requires travelling a short section on two other trails first; the White Reef Trail and the Adams Trail. From the trailhead, begin hiking or riding north on the White Reef Trail. After approximately 0.2 miles, turn left onto the Adams Trail. Continue for 0.15 miles as the trail crosses Quail Creek on a footbridge before reaching the start of the Prospector Trail on the right.

From the junction, begin riding west on the Prospector Trail. After approximately 200 yards the trail intersects a paved road. If you are mountain biking, dismount and carry your bike over the gates on each side of the road. After crossing the road, keep following the trail as it turns south and parallels the Red Reef.

Keep riding as a mix of terrain is encountered. Hikers will find the walking mostly easy with gentle ups and down while mountain bikers will enjoy a mostly fast flowing, smooth trail with occasional rocky sections peppered with small ledges and drops.

After approximately 3.0 miles from the trailhead, the Prospector Trail climbs to the junction with the Cottonwood Trail and reaches the high point of the route. Turn right and continue 100 yards on the Cottonwood Trail, and then left back onto Prospector Trail. The lower section of the Prospector Trail sees a little less traffic as it meanders through the sandy desert terrain. After approximately 6.0 miles from the trailhead, the Prospector Trail ends at the junction with the Church Rocks Trail. Return the way you came.

Rules & Regulations

Stay on designated trails.

Clean up after pets.

Pack out all trash.

Special Considerations

Mountain biking can be a dangerous activity. Ensure your equipment is properly maintained and appropriate for the terrain. Be sure to wear appropriate safety gear including a helmet.

Credits

This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.